Facebook’s fall from its once dominant perch atop the list of teen girls’ favorite websites is nearly complete. The social network giant, once the go-to website for teens, is now just a bit player in their media world. Facebook’s drop is not a sign that teens are moving away from social media. They aren’t – and probably never will. It’s just that Facebook is no longer ‘the’ site by which to digitally connect. That place is Instagram. Instagram’s image-based, mobile-centric, relatively parent-free vibe makes it much ‘cooler’ than Facebook.
How far has Facebook fallen?
In 2012, 79% of American girls ages 12-15 told KidSay that they used Facebook. Today, only 49% of them say they do. That drop is only one sign of Facebook’s troubles. A better indicator is the drop in those who say it’s their web destination of choice. At its height (June 2011), 69% of girls 12-15 told KidSay that Facebook was their favorite website. Only 7% say that today.
Why? Because for many teen girls, Facebook has become a functional site – not a fun one. It’s a place of obligation, a place to check-in to ensure that they haven’t missed anything before they head back to the sites they want to be on – Instagram or Twitter.
The irony of Facebook’s fall is that, once again, it’s poised to be ‘the new Myspace’. In June 2007, it was Myspace that was the essential social media platform of kids, with 60% of girls 12-15 telling KidSay that Myspace was their favorite website. By September of that year, those girls began to note Facebook’s rise, and KidSay soon followed by trumpeting Facebook as ‘the new Myspace’. By June 2011, girls 12-15 were no longer naming Myspace as a favorite site, and Facebook was at its high point.
Will Facebook be gone from teen girls’ social media rotation in a year or two? While once unfathomable, it’s now a distinct possibility.